Rousting the Book Pirates From Google

Google Play has been criticized as a sort of vast and unruly garden compared with Apple’s impeccably mowed lawns. In Forbes recently, Erik Kain called Google Play “an ugly, poorly organized store filled with myriad knockoffs, dubious ‘games’ and other apps.” That sounds a bit harsh to the Haggler, a Google Play regular who has had mostly positive experiences.

From Rousting the Book Pirates From Google - The New York Times

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Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

In the face of these changes, academic librarians have no choice but to take action. Their challenge, though, is that there are simply too many print books and not enough on-campus space to store them.

The most obvious solution to too many books is “weeding,” the library profession’s term for removing books from a collection. While weeding creates space for new books, it has significant labor and disposal costs. Also, it can meet with stiff resistance from faculty and students.

So an increasingly popular strategy for managing overcrowded stacks is moving books to high-density, low-cost, off-campus storage.

From Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

In the face of these changes, academic librarians have no choice but to take action. Their challenge, though, is that there are simply too many print books and not enough on-campus space to store them.

The most obvious solution to too many books is “weeding,” the library profession’s term for removing books from a collection. While weeding creates space for new books, it has significant labor and disposal costs. Also, it can meet with stiff resistance from faculty and students.

So an increasingly popular strategy for managing overcrowded stacks is moving books to high-density, low-cost, off-campus storage.

From Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

The Illusion of Online Privacy

Enjoying true privacy is difficult in today's digital age, but it won't get easier if people give up on their right to a few personal secrets, Reitman says.  

"People are starting to be so frustrated about privacy that they believe they can't get anything better," she says. "We have to push back against that idea.“

From The Illusion of Online Privacy - US News

It's not too late to reclaim our online privacy

How did we get here? Data has become currency: we barter it for services from operating systems to music players, while accepting promises of personalisation and assurances of security from those to whom we entrust it.

That trust is misplaced. Silicon Valley is built on data trading, and its products reflect that. Webmail isn’t encrypted; that would stop lucrative ads. Apps don’t tell us what they’re doing. Ad-trackers stalk you as you browse. And instead of real security, we are exhorted to strengthen our passwords – which is unintuitive and largely futile.

From It's not too late to reclaim our online privacy | New Scientist

Stephen King: Can a Novelist Be Too Productive?

My thesis here is a modest one: that prolificacy is sometimes inevitable, and has its place. The accepted definition — “producing much fruit, or foliage, or many offspring” — has an optimistic ring, at least to my ear.

Not everyone feels that way. I remember a party where some self-appointed arbiter of literary taste joked that Joyce Carol Oates was like the old lady who lived in a shoe, and had so many children she didn’t know what to do. In truth, Ms. Oates knows exactly what she is doing, and why she is doing it. “I have more stories to tell,” she writes in her journals, and “more novels.” I’m glad of that, because I want to read them.

From Stephen King: Can a Novelist Be Too Productive? - The New York Times

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Associated Press sues FBI over fake news story

The AP sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI last year seeking documents related to the 2014 sting. It also seeks to know how many times the FBI has used such a ruse since 2000. The FBI responded to the AP saying it could take two years or more to gather the information requested. Unsatisfied with the response, the Associated Press has taken the matter to court.

From Associated Press sues FBI over fake news story | Ars Technica

Call for Developer: The Wikipedia Library, Digital Library Card Platform

Call for Developers
We are planning to create a Digital Library Card Platform for The Wikipedia Library (see description below). We are looking for a developer, or team, with a history of successfully developing web applications in open development frameworks (such as Drupal, Angular, Ember, CiviCRM, etc.). Efficient production, clear communication, and well-structured and secure code are a must. Additional consideration will go towards applicants who have worked in the Library and Information Science field, on Open Source projects, or in the Wikimedia/Mediawiki communities. Our budget currently allows for $5000-$15,000 for development of a working version within 4- 6 months. We expect to expand the platform in two later phases to add additional functionality around standard online library services.

From Call for Developer: The Wikipedia Library, Digital Library Card Platform - Google Docs

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Kullervo: Tolkien's fascination with Finland

On Thursday JRR Tolkien's early story The Story of Kullervo will be published for the first time. The dark tale reveals that Tolkien's Middle Earth was inspired not only by England and Wales… but also by Finland.

From Kullervo: Tolkien's fascination with Finland - BBC News

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Apple’s content blocking is chemo for the cancer of adtech

This means the iOS platform will now support developers who want to build sophisticated apps that give users ways to block stuff they don’t like, such as adtech tracking and various forms of advertising — or all advertising — and to do it privately.

This allows much more control over unwanted content than is provided currently by ad and tracking blockers on Web browsers, and supports this control at the system level, rather than at the browser level. (Though it is executed by the browser.)

From Doc Searls Weblog · Apple’s content blocking is chemo for the cancer of adtech

Final Terry Pratchett novel The Shepherd's Crown on sale

The final novel by author Sir Terry Pratchett has been released, almost six months after his death.
The Shepherd's Crown, the 41st novel in his Discworld series, went on sale in the UK and Commonwealth at midnight BST (23:00 GMT Wednesday).
In the UK, fans gathered for midnight openings at stores in London, Oxford and Newcastle. More shops will open earlier than usual on Thursday.

From Final Terry Pratchett novel The Shepherd's Crown on sale - BBC News

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Slowly improving Copyright clarity

Like all Smithsonian museums, all online content is subject to institution-wide ‘Terms of use‘. This governs the ‘permitted uses’ of anything on our websites, irrespective of underlying rights. These terms are not created at an individual museum level but are part of Smithsonian-wide policy. You can see that whilst these terms allow only ‘allows personal, educational, and other non-commercial uses’ they encourage the use of Fair Use under US Copyright law.

From Slowly improving Copyright clarity | Cooper Hewitt Labs

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The Heart of the University: MU Libraries celebrate the centennial of Ellis Library

"More than a century ago, the University of Missouri’s first professionally trained librarian, James Thayer Gerould, campaigned for a building to house the library’s books. The collection was relatively small; all of the books, except the few on loan, had been destroyed in the Academic Hall fire of 1892...Today, the structure houses nearly 2 million print volumes."
“It’s hard for me to think of another profession that has been more fundamentally changed than librarianship,” says Director of MU Libraries Jim Cogswell. “Librarians have always said they are trying to do the impossible, which is to try to take all of the world’s recorded knowledge and information and make it available to anybody at any time. That’s crazy. How could anybody ever do that? But with every iteration of technology, we get closer.”
Read more of Ellis Library'shistory at MIZZOU Magazine

Accelerators for publishing? Ingram's "1440"

On Sept. 13, 2015, Ingram Content Group will unveil the results of 1440, a new incubator for publishing entrepreneurs. The project’s website connects a past publishing revolution with the type of disruption Ingram hopes to help start in the future: “In [the year] 1440, Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press and changed the world. We’re looking for the companies that are changing today’s publishing world by changing the way that people interact with content.” Today, Ingram is busy reviewing the 33 applications it received on or before Aug.

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Who Was Afraid of Ray Bradbury & Science Fiction? The FBI

When you think of the most astute minds of our time, you might well think of Ray Bradbury’s — but you probably don’t think of him as one of the most astute terrorist minds of our time. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, saw things differently. Collaborative news site MuckRock found that out through files “released to former MuckRocker Inkoo Kang [which] document the decade the Bureau spent trying to determine if Bradbury was, if not a card-carrying Communist, at least a sympathetic ‘fellow traveler.'” See snippets of documents here from 1959.

From Who Was Afraid of Ray Bradbury & Science Fiction? The FBI, It Turns Out (1959) | Open Culture

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Author Joe Hill experiments with free ebook bundling via Shelfie app

(Updated to add: but don’t go to the library and use the library book to claim your Shelfie, because that’s weird, and would also require you to write your name in a library book, but mostly it’s weird.)

From Joe Hill's Thrills

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The Crackdown on Little Free Library Book Exchanges

All over America, people have put small "give one, take one" book exchanges in front of their homes. Then they were told to tear them down.

From The Crackdown on Little Free Library Book Exchanges - The Atlantic

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The Ashley Madison Hack Should Scare You, Too

Likewise, those who blithely state “privacy is dead” as if they have no skin in the game, as if merely shrugging and accepting that we no longer have any rights as individuals, may be the most disheartening of all. Are we ready to agree that we, as citizens, have no recourse, that it’s perfectly natural that criminals and the corporate entities that fail to protect us from them would mishandle our assets and expose us all to fraud and identity theft and public attacks? Do we want our public servants targeting citizens by using information gained through criminal means?

From The Ashley Madison Hack Should Scare You, Too -- The Cut

Jimmy Wales Says Wikipedia Is Losing Traffic From Google

There have been a lot of rumors about the decline in traffic Google is sending Wikipedia’s way. There have been reports from SimilarWeb that Wikipedia has shown a “sudden” and “massive” decline in traffic from Google’s organic search results.

But Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, said this week that this is not a sudden or drastic drop in traffic from Google, but rather a “long-term issue with decreasing traffic from Google.”

From Jimmy Wales Says Wikipedia Is Losing Traffic From Google

Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers

The library's renovation is as exquisite as its history is turbulent. The building sits in the heart of the provincial capital that was wracked not so long ago by battles and bullets.

A three-decade civil war pitted Sri Lankan forces against rebels fighting a brutal campaign for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils. The rebels, known as Tamil Tigers, were crushed in 2009, in the closing months of the fighting.

From Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers : Parallels : NPR

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